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Meditation Walking

Meditation Walking
Pat Dickson - Tue Aug 13, 2013 @ 01:34PM
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Walking is my meditation

Whenever I am overwhelmed, my blood pressure is up, I'm having trouble sticking to my goals, I can't focus, I'm procrastinating, I don't know what to do next, or I am dealing with a problem I can't solve, I meditate.

I meditate by walking 

I don't meditate by sitting in a dark, quiet room, by doing breathing exercises, by emptying my mind of all thoughts by contemplating emptiness, or by striking and holding certain poses. The way of meditation according to the gurus never worked for me. I walk 8 miles, and often more than twice a week. Walking gives me focus, lowers my blood pressure, and helps me solve problems.

Here is how to meditate by walking:

  1. Find a path to walk. Ideally it is a place without noisy traffic or too many people, it is fairly smooth, and it is easy to walk at least 5 miles without interruptions. I find that getting into the meditative state you are seeking takes me at least 3 miles of walking. Then every step beyond 3 miles becomes the distance you start working things out, mentally, physically, and emotionally. This is my experience. A smooth path allows you to get into the rhythm of walking, which inspires the inner contemplativeness that comes with repetitive stepping. Cracks and bumps in the road can trip you, distract you or interrupt you. The less the noise around you, the more you can listen to your inner voices. My favorite distance is 8 miles. This takes under 3 hours and provides me with a good 5 miles of meditation.
  2. Forget your cell phone but you can bring a friend. Cell phones are a distraction. Take a cell phone with you and you'll likely never reach your desired meditative state at the 3 mile mark, or at any time thereafter for that matter. Meditation requires rhythm, repetition, and no interruption. A vibrating noisemaker that randomly disturbs you, as the epiphanies and realizations and motivations build within you with every step, will do nothing but defeat you. Epiphany defeated with a single vibration, buzz or ring. Leave your cell phone at home. However, I have found that taking a good friend with you actually does just as much for you as walking alone. Walking alone becomes an uninterrupted dialog with yourself, which helps you reach that meditative state that solves problems and lowers your blood pressure. Walking with a friend you can discuss anything with, without incurring criticism or judgment, can do the same thing. Instead of talking it out with yourself, you talk it out with another person!
  3. Start walking and talking. Whether your meditative walk is alone or with a friend, just start walking and talking. Let it all out! You'll find that after about mile 3 your head is clearer, your body will be starting to feel like it is back in the groove, and you'll be getting a better grip on whatever is bothering you. You'll find answers whether they are from within or emanating from your meditative walking friend.

Benefits of Meditative Walking:

Below I list a number of the benefits I receive by walking 8 miles or more at a time. 

  1. Lower blood pressure. I talk a lot about my blood pressure, and that's mainly because it tends too be higher than lower. Whenever I am experiencing any stress, eating the wrong things, not getting enough sleep, or generally doing anything improper, my blood pressure goes up. However, whenever my blood pressure is high, going on my 8 mile walks reduces it back to normal as soon as 1 hour after I'm finished. The positive effects can last up to 48 hours.
  2. Solved problems. Nothing puts me in problem solving mode like walking. The rhythm of my step and swinging arms, after 3 or more miles, is almost certain to clear my head and give me focus. I can't tell you how many times I've had a problem at work that I couldn't solve after several days, but once I'd dealt with it via my meditative walk, I realized the fix was as easy as something like a 2 minute phone call. One time I had to figure out a really tough contract negotiation that had gone on and on for more than two weeks, but once I had walked 8 miles on the problem I realized a simple answer. My company didn't even want the contract! It would have resulted in big losses even had we worked through several serious points of dispute and signed the thing! Somehow the state of mind provoked by walking helped me realize the real problem. It just came to me because I had meditated on the matter. I had put one foot in front of the other, over and over, until the light bulb came on.
  3. Increased motivation. Last but not least, nothing increases my motivation and focus on my goals like meditation walking. Like I've said, it clears my head. It helps me concentrate on a dialog either with myself or with my friend. By the time I'm done walking, I can clearly see what matters most and I'm ready to get to work! The last time I walked it became so obvious to me that I'd just been living day to day, letting time pass, and none of the things that really mattered in my life were being achieved. Why wasn't I writing every morning any more? Why hadn't I gone on a long weekend trip to see old friends in over a year? Why wasn't I sticking to my diet? And why had I abandoned my blog for so long? Long story short, there is something about taking more than 10,000 steps, which allows you to step outside yourself and really take a look at things.

Walking is meditation!

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